upgrade storage space in iPhone in Shenzhen to 128GB for 60 dollars

When deciding what iPhone to buy so you end up with the right amount of storage capacity, you can get the bare-bones $16GB model, or you can end up with an upgraded 64GB, or 128GB model, which are probably your best bets with the new video cameras capable of recording at 4K quality.

That’s not to say you won’t pay a pretty penny though; moving up to 64GB from 16GB is $100 more, and moving up to 128GB from 16GB is a staggering $200 more. But if paying that much more for a storage upgrade is going to be too much for you, then you’ll be happy to know there are cheaper alternatives, so long as visiting Shenzhen, China is on your bucket list for the near future.

The cheapest iPhone storage upgrade ever?

A small team of iPhone repair specialists in Shenzhen, China is now taking advantage of this niche of people who want iPhone storage upgrades by starting up a small business that offers a 128GB storage upgrade for iPhone users for a mere $60.

The process is simple โ€“ you just hand over your money and your iPhone, and the specialists get to work on upgrading the internal storage inside of your iPhone. They’ll take it apart on their workbench, do all the electrical soldering for you, and approximately 30 minutes later, they’ll power your device back on to show you that you now have 128GB of internal storage instead of 16GB or 64GB of internal storage.

YouTube user BeSound decided to do some good old-fashioned reporting on the third-party upgrade and has filmed the process, as well as the before and after of the iPhone storage transformation. You can watch the full video below:

These guys reportedly get around 50 customers per day, which means there’s definitely some good demand for iPhone storage upgrades on the cheap. Unfortunately, the upgrade is limited to only specific devices due to limited availability of parts.

Does it work?

The iPhone powers back on as expected after the upgrade, and after launching the Settings app and going to the General > About preferences pane, the iPhone registers the 128GB internal storage module instead of the old 16GB internal storage module.

With that being said, yes the process appears to have worked, but keep in mind this kind of hardware upgrade would void your Apple warranty because it involves a non-authorized technician tampering with the hardware inside of your iPhone, so don’t expect Apple to help you if you end up having problems with the third-party storage upgrade down the line.

On the other hand, the likelihood of the storage going bad doesn’t seem like it would carry high probability. These guys just happened to have found a black market for the parts that are widely available in the Chinese market and are offering upgrade for pocket change of their own.

Now I’m not going to recommend you buy a plane ticket and fly all the way to Shenzhen, China to upgrade your iPhone, because that would be ridiculous. Obviously, that would cost more than just buying the upgraded iPhone itself, but it’s still cool to see that something like this is possible and it’s even cooler to see young entrepreneurs sticking it to Apple and exploring the hardware upgrade possibilities for a market clearly that exists.

Would you chance your Apple warranty for a cheap storage upgrade? Share in the comments!

  • Dany Quirion

    But it voisa the warrently, and create bugs in ios good job

    • รngel Javier Esquivel

      They had one job… and took it

    • talkRAYdio

      it’s meant for those who are out of warranty. instead of spending $600-$900 on a new phone, you spend $60 on an upgrade and keep your phone another year or two

  • Joshua The-Legend Wiebe

    No need to fly down to do it, just buy the service off eBay and send them your phone.

    • Seba

      Yeah right do it and you probably won’t see your iPhone again ๐Ÿ˜›

      • Jaba Haba

        it’s like paying people to steal your phone. But would be nice if local phone repair shop offer the same service, more than just some simple screen replacement.

      • Seba

        That would be awesome. I would pay for it 4 sure ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Joshua The-Legend Wiebe

        You guys always think of the worst things that can happen, but not realize the convenience of this method. Not everyone is out to steal phones, especially when they can be deactivated and turned into a fancy paperweight. It’s better to sell the service for a good profit than steal a phone for peanuts after deactivation.

      • Teufel Hunden

        I’m sorry, but china is know for stealing and manipulating. No thanks I will pay extra, for quality not quantity.

      • Alex Wijaya

        Sure, if you can find one in the US that has the tools, materials, and the SKILL to do it for you. Doubt you can though. Those Chinese technicians have some serious soldering skills that can only be replicated by $50k machine in the US.

  • TechnoBuff

    Voiding of warranty only applies if you are within the one year period. Anything after that is not covered.
    With these materials readily available in local chinese malls and markets. This looks like a good solution to increasing your storage.

    • pegger1

      It voids your warranty if you have a warranty. Clearly it wouldn’t void a warranty if you no longer have one.

      • TechnoBuff

        Reread my comment again…,

      • Morgan Freeman

        He means there was no reason for you to even say it. Because DUH.

      • TechnoBuff

        i mentioned because IDB should have mentioned that fact.. Most iphone users are actually out of warranty considering the number of people with phones that are over a year old.

      • Have you done a survey?

      • James Earl Jones

        Morgan, shut the f up.

      • Morgan Freeman


      • James Earl Jones


      • Morgan Freeman

        Come and make me, Jimmy. I DARE YOU.

    • Anthony Bouchard

      This is a good thing to keep in mind. If you’re already out of warranty, then yeah, who cares! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Jaba Haba

      unless apple decide to put something on ios that check for it and make it scream ERROR 53 like the finger print reader

  • the hood

    Bear in mind in Australia there is a two year warranty (minimum) even on refurbished iphones. Can this upgrade be applied to ipads/ipods?

    • Anthony Bouchard

      From what I understand, a limited selection of iPad models are also supported.

    • Jackson Grong

      Just like in Italy, 2 years standard. It shud be worldwide, if only Apple really believed in their products.

  • Elias Chao

    Hopefully this upgrade process would get to other parts of the world rather sooner than later.

  • iPhoneWINS

    omg this is great can they upgrade the battery also ?

    • JulianZH

      you sure you want the battery from that place?

      • Tim

        Chinese offer iPhone batteries with x2 the capacity but still keeping to the same form factor, defying laws of physics. Out of curiousity I bought the battery, my God was it crap. It literally made the phone freeze and couldn’t last even 2hours.

    • Yazz

      It’s really impossible to upgrade most iPhone batteries more than back to new condition + maybe ~5%~ish above max.
      Some will advertise compatible batteries with higher mah rating but that’s either just using the max power output to fool you while at best the batteries approximately the same,
      At worse they usually have a much smaller lifespan, and don’t even hold a charge nearly as long as the originals. (That’s most cases)
      The batteries already use Lion in all the space provided with very little shielding material that can rip off easily when removing from the sticky battery gum pads as it is, and they can expand and start to balloon up as it is when under heavy stress – so you want some wiggle room for measure.

  • Morgan Freeman

    I wonder when people will be complaining of memory failures due to the chips actually being 2GB despite what’s printed on them and what the OS reports the size to be. Think: SD cards from Amazon.

    • Jaba Haba

      as far as i know, at the moment they can only use chip that is used in another iPhone before. Like all those stolen activation lock phone are good donors for this service.

  • Hippo

    Does it work on iPhone5s ??

    • Jaba Haba


  • smtp25

    Yes is shows as 128GB, and probably is, but is it the cheapest, slowest chips known to man? Is the open heart surgery on your phone $1000 phone worth it to save $120?

    • Yes.

    • Jaba Haba

      well I mean if you bought a 16 GB iPhone 6 and don’t feel like spending $1000 on the 128 GB iPhone 6s, it would be worth it considering the chip they use is pull from another iphone.

    • talkRAYdio

      first of all, even the slowest flash memory is still lightning fast. and second this is clearly aimed at USED/OUT OF WARRANTY phones. so they are not worth $1000. the target market is clearly those who want an upgrade, without having to buy a new phone.

  • avd98

    I just don’t trust the chinese…

    • Shinonuke

      Yeah…in that case, send your iPhone back in as it was assembled by the Chinese

    • Tikimaker

      Really? Your iPhone was assembled by the Chinese. WOW!
      What about your jailbreak? Yep Chinese.

  • Dao Sasone


  • Johnny Nguyen

    I knew immediately that this work is impossible when I saw the title.

  • Ben$

    It was all the rage a few months ago in China but someone inside has already confirmed that such tampered devices would be detected by Apple and may be blocked during future IOS updates. It does not worth.

  • Soku

    Am in the only who sees that the colours of the Iphones dont match up. One is white and the other one black. If the serial number is the same, how is that possible? Did he change the case of the iphone as well? I think this is a nice scam.

  • Alan Tuttle

    I was given a 16GB iPhone 6. So, upgrading it to 128GB and taking a chance mailing it to China is zero loss for me. The problem is there is zero information for English readers on the Internet when trying to find someone reliable to send the phone and have the upgrade done. I would appreciate any information.

  • Peter Korman

    Can you run apps off that?

  • Caleb McShan

    i like how the two phones at the end were 2 different colors and they were supposed to be the same phone lmao

    • John Waldorf

      you think maybe it makes more sense to put a new iphone backing on that says 128gig rather than keeping the old back that says 16gig? maybe thats what they’ve done there?